Four Steps to Help Widows Rebuild Financial Stability

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone. But your journey to financial independence can start here.

An older woman clutches a photo to her chest while lying on the sofa and looking out the window.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The loss of a spouse is one of the most challenging experiences anyone can face, especially when it brings new financial responsibilities. When a spouse who handled all financial decisions passes away, the surviving partner may find herself at a loss, not knowing how to access funds, pay bills or manage investments. This sudden shift can add a significant emotional and logistical burden during an already complex grieving process.

Take the case of Tanya, who felt woefully unprepared as she found herself managing finances for the first time after her husband's passing. Tanya's world shattered the day her husband, Mark, passed away. They had been married for 20 years, and Mark had always taken care of their finances. Tanya, a talented artist, had focused on her passion for painting and raising their two children, Mia and Jake. Mark's sudden death left her not only heartbroken but also overwhelmed by the financial responsibilities she had never faced before.

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Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA®, CES™
President & CEO, Francis Financial Inc.

Stacy is a nationally recognized financial expert and the President and CEO of Francis Financial Inc., which she founded 15 years ago. She is a Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®) and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® (CDFA®) who provides advice to women going through transitions, such as divorce, widowhood and sudden wealth. She is also the founder of Savvy Ladies™, a nonprofit that has provided free personal finance education and resources to over 15,000 women.